love affair with clothing

I have always had a love affair with clothing.  It began when I was twenty and I got my first retail job at United Colors of Benetton.  I loved that job dressing people in well-cut Italian clothing, always looking great at work and squeezing my feet into impossibly high heels.  My tastes have evolved over the years, sometimes great looks and sometimes less than great.  I usually like to come up with a name for my current style, for example when I moved to Maui I dreaded my hair and wore juicy couture hoodies in pastel colors and called this look sporty-dready.  That would have been fine, except I found myself immediately pregnant with my 4th daughter Grace.  My intention was to have a big lollipop head of dreads and a skinny little body to go with it. This was not the reality.

Grace’s birthdate 10-20-11 (not the look I was going for)

I have always used clothes as an artistic means of self-expression, believing that if the outfit is right I can look and feel great.  I have ever evolving tastes and now that I am forty, find myself seeking more coverage, fine natural fabrics, exquisite cuts, and comfort.  I have always maintained that you don’t know what pieces will be your favorites when you are buying them, it isn’t until you have worn them and lived in them that the magic happens. It is a feeling that dressing well helps you feel together.  It is just as easy to throw on some nice cut jeans and a gorgeous cotton blouse as it is yoga pants and a tee. So why not look awesome and accessorize?






The ‘coconut’ wireless is usually very efficient at disseminating news, information and sometimes gossip but in case you haven’t heard, Tiffany and Bernie Stroh along with their three girls (Scarlet, Eleanore and Grace) will soon embark on a world travel adventure. Many of our friends in the Haleakala Waldorf ohana have also met Tiffany’s oldest daughter, Devin who will also rendezvous with us at some point on our journey across the planet. In order to accomplish this feat, we will of course temporarily put our ‘normal’ Maui life on hold for the next 10 months.

Many may wonder (but politely have not inquired) how we arrived at this decision to live our life abroad for a year. We have asked ourselves the same question. The truth is that this decision was made without much consideration (or pre-planning) only a few months ago. We recently took a very short family trip to Ireland and Tiffany and Scarlet then continued on to Egypt for a 10 day, mother-daughter excursion. These short trips undoubtedly whetted our appetites for more international travel. When my wife and Scarlet returned from Egypt, Tiffany made an offhand comment while we were driving back home from the airport that we should take the year off and travel. Without thinking, I immediately agreed to the idea. And so without much fanfare, here we are in an almost empty house about to embark on this journey. As I recall, we made the decision to move to Maui from Minnesota much the same way 6-1/2 years ago and we have certainly never regretted that decision.


As I write this, my new laptop (mobile engineering office) is almost ready, homeschooling literature and materials are being assembled and yoga travel mats have been packed. We are ready (or as ready as we will ever be).




What my daughter and I packed for Egypt


Hello Dear Readers,

If you are anything like me, then the first question that pops into your head once you decide where you are going is: What to wear?  I needed to create the perfect capsule wardrobe for a 10 day mother daughter trip to Egypt.


Temple of Philae, Aswan


Here are the steps that I took:

  1. Scoured the internet for ideas.
  2. Didn’t care for the clothing suggestions presented.
  3. I did appreciate the idea of the capsule (every top must interchange with every bottom in order to maximize the number of outfits)
  4. Read everybody else’s blog and then decided to write my own.

I wanted to make sure we were appropriately dressed and comfortable, yet still looked like ourselves in our pictures.  Why would I pack frumpy travel clothing when I don’t dress like that on a normal day? Also it was important to me to pack lightly so that we could bring home art, rug, large tapestry wall-hanging, lamps and gifts all in our carry-on.
I was delighted that my 10 year old daughter who has definite opinions about fashion allowed my to choose all of her clothing for our trip. Here is what I chose:

Scarlet also had a pair of flip-flops and  black converse, which got left behind in  Egypt. There were plenty of shopping opportunities and Scarlet purchased the royal blue dressed pictured above and wore it several times during our trip.  The two things I wish we had packed that we didn’t were light weight jackets as it was cold in the morning and evenings, and make-up.  I rarely wear make-up at home so I thought I would be fine; however, I felt really naked compared to the women in Egypt who wore a ton of perfectly applied make-up.  I wish I had brought mascara, bronzer and lip gloss at least.  I  went on an exhaustive search for linen pants thinking I would be boiling in the dessert, but in fact I was really comfortable alternating between the two pairs of skinny jeans that I packed (March 2017). I never found the linen pants I was after. Here are the items that I packed:

Egypt was amazing! There are no words to describe the feeling of being in such and ancient and sacred place.  The best part of it was giving my beautiful daughter Scarlet my undivided attention and really seeing her for who she is.  Scarlet shone so brightly on this trip she relished every moment, never a complaint and our schedule was packed from dawn until dusk every day.


The Theban Necropolis